A specialty food shop with classes will start cooking in southwest Rochester this week.

Amy Lorber and her mother, Linda Lorber, are kicking off their new business called Figue with a "Food & Friends" opening house with cooking demonstrations, tastings, samples and more at 10 a.m. Saturday.

Evidently, the opening of Figue can't come soon enough for some potential customers, who have been knocking on the store's door for weeks asking when it will be open, said Amy Lorber.

"We're happy that we're getting such a good response from people about wanting classes and pop-up events," she said. "It's really fun to have people showing such real enthusiasm about learning about food here. Figue is about learning about cultures … and dishes … and spices … and flavors."

Figue — the French word for fig — is based at 1190 16th St. SW, on the west end of the Apache Shoppes center. That’s the spot last occupied by Cook’s Pantry.

The chefs and food product makers slated to be at the opening include "Spiced Up Mom" and "MasterChef" contestant Shari Mukherjee, CannonBelles Cheese, Carlson Roasting Co., Choochoo-ca-Chew, Curly Girlz Candy, VinChef Cooking and more.

The recipe that spurred the creation of Figue started  when the daughter and mother duo launched Gardenaire in 2016 to sell infused syrups, spice mixes, flavored “shrub” drink mixers, teas and other organic creations they make mostly from locally grown ingredients from their Rochester garden and elsewhere.

The Lorbers decided to create a brick-and-mortar location to sell their products with cooking gear and hand-made dishes as well as products from other local specialty food makers. Figue also features a demonstration kitchen for area cooks to host classes on how to create their favorite dishes.

Bringing local makers and chefs together has tapped into a lot of energy within the Rochester foodie crowd, said Amy Lorber.

"Being an individual food producer is a really tough gig … each item is made by hand," she said.

The first cooking classes will start yet this month with more slated for October. Those schedules will be posted soon.

Jeff Kiger tracks business action in Rochester and southeastern Minnesota every day in Heard on the Street. Send tips to jkiger@postbulletin.com or via Twitter to @whereskiger. You can call him at 285-7798.

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Business Reporter

Jeff has worked at newspapers as a reporter, columnist, editor, photographer and copy editor since 1992. He started at the Post Bulletin in 1999. Kiger is the PB's business reporter and writes a daily column, "Heard on the Street."